Chyron from Terminator: Los Angeles 2029 A.D.

Setting actual dates for the events in the stories is hopelessly compromised by the data presented in the stories themselves. All three stories give us information that is either incorrect or snarls up the sequencing so badly that we have no idea what exactly took place when.

The main purpose of this document is to see whether the time travel episodes can be worked out without inconsistencies or paradoxes. However, it would be very nice if we could put actual dates on the events to better understand the sequencing. We will attempt to do this, but it will require that we reject some of the information presented to us.

In Terminator we are told that it is 1984, Sarah's time card reads "Pay period ending 5/19/84" and Sarah's student ID says "Spring 1984". When Kyle confronts the officer and asks the date, he is told "12th...May...Thursday". The problem is that May 12th did not fall on a Thursday in 1984 (the 12th was a Saturday) so at least one piece of information is incorrect.

In Judgment Day the police computer says that John was born in 1985 and that he is 10 years old. The T‑800 says that in three years time it will be 1997, and that in 35 years time it will be 2029. The first is only true if the events took place in 1995, the second set can only be true if they took place in 1994.

In Rise of the Machines John says that they blew up Cyberdyne over 10 years ago, that he met Kate 10 years ago. We also learn that John was 13 and in the 8th grade at the time. The first can only be true if Terminator 2 took place in 1994, the second can only be true if Judgment Day took place in 1998 - after Judgment Day - or John was born in 1981 - three years before Kyle arrived.

In addition to attempting to set the actual dates, we will also work out the sequencing of events. What time of day did events occurred, where did they occur and what is the travel time between locations. These control whether events occurred on the same day or on different days. We will look at times and dates we are given, look for glimpses of clocks or calendars, and look at the length of shadows in various scenes.